Round Up: Key Events of 2021

It has been an amazing year for our authors. We wanted to celebrate a number of achievements before blasting into another new year.

But first, we give a very sincere “thank you” to everyone who supports our work: from editors and indexers, printers and distributors, booksellers and readers, granting bodies and the University of Alberta. We have an amazing group of staff members and interns and our authors are absolute powerhouses of talent and energy.

Award Fun

Ken Haigh was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction for On Foot to Canterbury: A Son’s Pilgrimage.

Ken gave three illustrated talks about the book during the fall: all virtual, of course. They were hosted by the Collingwood Public Library, Atwater Library, and Blue Mountains Public Library. While we would have loved to see Ken win this prize, it gave us many opportunities for promotion and raised Ken’s profile as a writer. It was a thrilling ride!

Congratulations to Tomson Highway for winning the nonfiction prize for Permanent Astonishment. Some years ago, University of Alberta Press published Highway’s Kreisel lecture, A Tale of Monstrous Extravagance: Imagining Multilingualism. He is a phenomenal writer and wonderful person to work with.

Our Whole Gwich’in Way of Life Has Changed / Gwich’in K’yuu Gwiidandài’ Tthak Ejuk Gòonlih won the Oral History Association Book Award, Scholarly and Academic Book of the Year at the Alberta Book Awards, and was named a 2021 Choice Outstanding Academic Title. Congratulations to Leslie McCartney and Gwich’in Tribal Council for their remarkable work. We were particularly pleased to see Alan Brownoff win a design award for the book from the AUPresses Book, Jacket, & Journal Show in the Scholarly Typographic category.

Alan also won an award in the same competition in the Poetry and Literature category, for An Autobiography of the Autobiography of Reading by Dionne Brand. The book also won Trade Non-Fiction Book of the Year at the Alberta Book Awards.

Kat Cameron took home the Poetry prize in the High Plains Book Awards for her collection, Ghosts Still Linger.

The Flying Zoo: Birds, Parasites, and the World They Share by Michael Stock won Best Wildlife Publication Award in the Popular Category for the Alberta Chapter of the Wildlife Society.

Angeline Schellenberg has been shortlisted for the prestigious Kobzar Book Award for her book of poetry, Fields of Light and Stone. We will have to wait until March to hear the results!

Listings and Promotions

We were thrilled to see both Impact: Women Writing After Concussion and On Foot to Canterbury on CBC Books’ list of best nonfiction titles of 2021.

CBC Books put Leanne Simpson’s A Short History of the Blockade: Giant Beavers, Diplomacy, and Regeneration in Nishnaabewin on their holiday shopping list of 12 books for the outdoor enthusiastExclaim Magazine also listed the book on its holiday gift guide

Indigo Books included Impact in a special promotion of prairie books, heading into the holiday season.

Galleries West Magazine highlighted Situating Design in Alberta on their list of Canadian art books that would make great gifts. 


On Foot to Canterbury was highlighted in numerous outlets: CBC, Travel Writers World, and Nicola Ross on her blog.

Tamari Kitossa spoke as part of the Barbershop Talk Series, drawing on themes from Appealing Because He Is Appalling: Black Masculinities, Colonialism, and Erotic Racism. He was also interviewed for the podcast, M4R: Black Masculinity.


We partnered with the Calgary Public Library for two events in the fall, in their Books and Ideas series. First, Rona Altrows and contributors to You Look Good for Your Age gave readings and engaged in conversation. Rosemary Griebel was our superb moderator. Second, readings and conversations from several contributors to Impact under the title, “Every Concussion Experience is Different. Women Writers in Conversation.” Angie Abdou was the perfect moderator.

Both anthologies had hugely successful launch events as well. Rona’s launch had well over 100 viewers while E. D. Morin and Jane Cawthorne launched under the umbrella of Toronto Lit Up, with Jay Ingram as moderator and interviewer. Several contributors to You Look Good for Your Age recorded individual readings, while Jane Cawthorne worked with Ryerson film student Junyeong Kim and the contributors to create an amazing group of videos.

Robert Henry and two of the co-authors of Indigenous Women and Street Gangs: Survivance Narratives launched the book at McNally Robinson Saskatoon.

Overcoming the Neutral Zone Trap: Hockey’s Agents of Change was launched at a powerful event featuring co-editors Cheryl MacDonald and Jon Edwards and several contributors, hosted by Brian Kennedy. Cheryl was also interviewed by Portia Clark of CBC Radio.

We held our annual Literary Cocktails in May. It was another fabulous event with host Nisha Patel and poets Jennifer Bowering Delisle, Aidan Chafe, and Micheline Maylor reading from Deriving, Gospel Drunk, and The Bad Wife.

Micheline Maylor read from The Bad Wife in November as part of the Writers Guild of Alberta reading series.

See our YouTube channel for recordings of many of these virtual events.